Allardyce vows to fight FA charges

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The Independent Football

Sam Allardyce, the Bolton Wanderers manager, says he will not keep his mouth shut, despite facing a fine and a touchline ban for his attack on the referee, Mike Riley, after in the Carling Cup final.

Sam Allardyce, the Bolton Wanderers manager, says he will not keep his mouth shut, despite facing a fine and a touchline ban for his attack on the referee, Mike Riley, after in the Carling Cup final.

The FA said on its website it had charged Allardyce with "failing to act in the best interests of the game and bringing the game into disrepute". Allardyce criticised Riley for awarding a penalty against Bolton in the seventh minute and said the referee had compounded the error by failing to spot that the Dutchman Boudewijn Zenden touched the ball twice as he slipped while converting the kick. Allardyce intends to fight the charge and said: "I can't keep my mouth shut if I see something I consider isn't right. We have just got to make referees make major decisions better."

Allardyce said referees consider him to be a pain. "I just say it like it is, I don't go violently over the top to levels that are unacceptable," he said. "I think honesty is what is needed. I help referees more than most. I can prove what I say and I talk to them. I speak to Keith Hackett [the head of referees] and we have a professional referee training with us."

Allardyce, meanwhile, has told Jay-Jay Okocha, his playmaker, that he will have to help pull Bolton clear of relegation before he is given a day off. The Nigerian is complaining of tiredness after a long season, stretched by the African Nations Cup, but he will be asked to carry on.

Allardyce said: "I would love to give Jay-Jay a rest, but we do not have the luxury of a large squad like the big boys. There is no question he is suffering from fatigue. It is impossible to do what he has done and not feel the effects. But we are looking for points to get safe and than I will see what happens after that. I can't consider leaving him out just now."

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